color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Thoughts for today (and yesterday)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thoughts for today (and yesterday)

Photo: Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

Forest Fires. up earlier than usual today... the Big Guy left really early -- at oh my word dark:30... he's a volunteer on the local Sheriff's 4x4 Search & Rescue unit and he's been working almost every day since the start this past weekend of a major forest fire 30 miles or so from our home... in very, very rough terrain overgrown with plenty of fuel... pristine area of the forest... no fire hydrants... no improved roads (called primitive roads)... homes have very large propane tanks... homes range from trailer homes to multi-million dollar "retreats"...

Photo: Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

started by one or two idiot hikers who thought the "don't even think about farting in the forest 'cause it's tinder dry and waiting to burn" didn't apply to them and -- lost, chilly (50 degrees -- not even cold you wuss!) started a "warming" fire without any precautions... 7,300 acres burned so far and still raging... an entire town in jeopardy... millions of dollars in costs (and rising!) not to mention putting so many peoples' lives at risk -- both residents and the firefighters on the job!!!

Photo: Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

Wesley Clark. what a tool. really. I listened to him on some show (MSNBC?) briefly yesterday (I get motion sick very easily and all Clark's twisting, back pedaling and spinning made me nauseous)... first, I'll note that when he wasn't dissing McCain, he was busy extolling his own experience and decision-making time in the military: "I was NATO commander..." "I was a Captain in Vietnam..." I was... I did .... I was..." Wes, booby, babe: what the hell does YOUR so-called experience have to do with Obama's fitness for the presidency?? If you want to compare apples/apples, etc., let's compare McCain's and Obama's experience. Not up to it, Wes? Thought not. You think Barack's few years as a "community organizer" is comparable to McCain's 23 YEARS of military service?? Clark kept talking about how McCain's captivity and status as a POW was sad... but his time in a fighter jet and his service in the military doesn't qualify as decision-making experience relevant to the Presidency... Pardon me? Come again?? Well, Wes... should we talk about what else might be relevant experience? Armed Services Committee? Commerce Committee... and its Chair?? Indian Affairs Committee... Chairman -- twice!? Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. Should we be talking about Obama as part of the Democratic political machine as a STATE senator? Should we compare Obama's 26 MONTHS in the US Senate to McCain's 26 YEARS??

McCain's military service (and growing up military) instilled in him respect, discipline, and honed his sense of patriotism, duty, and honor. Barack? has a wife who is just now proud of her country? Barack? spent 20+ years listening to a preacher who regularly proclaimed "God damn America!" And while some might argue whether McCain's military service was "executive" experience,
NO ONE running for President has a better sense of what the decisions as Commander-in-Chief entail... knowing the consequences means he won't be spoiling for battle... but he won't be afraid of a fight, either... compared to a "peace at any (and all) costs" candidate. Should we talk about how Obama has finally been shamed into finally making a visit to Iraq? In the world around us as it exists today, do you want a guy who probably has never been ON a military base to be making those decisions? I have a child still in the military and I want to have faith that the person deciding his fate -- and the fate of us all in a violent world -- has some idea of the consequences of his decisions -- but not be afraid to make those decisions when necessary... and not maintain a stance just to make a point... and Barack simply does not have the experience (domestic, international, military)... but Clark, you go head and keep on yapping, baby, 'cause you are drawing attention to all of McCain's strengths and Obama's weaknesses. Otherwise my inclination is to tell you to STFU.

The IRS. I am so LIVID at the moment. We keep getting these letters from the IRS about those stimulus checks that say, "You do not need to do anything. If you received a refund on your 2007 federal income tax return and had it directly deposited into a bank account, we will directly deposit your stimulus payment into the same bank account. If not, your stimulus payment check will be mailed to you." So we are waiting for the check in the mail. We do not overpay taxes during the year; we pay the balance on the appointed date each April. We do not file electronically, we file on paper (it's a quirk of mine, ok?). Yesterday, the stimulus shows up in our bank account. WTF?? I know it;s the IRS and they are omni-whatever, BUT WE DID NOT AUTHORIZE THEM TO ACCESS OUR ACCOUNT!!! Is writing a check for our taxes an authorization to access our account??? MAKES ME NUTS. I am waiting for the IRS local office to return my call and let me know what the hell is going on... (but not holding my breath 'cause (a) I don't look good in blue and (b) the word "service" in their name is a misnomer. And, pray tell, why would the government be sending stimulus checks to dead people? Do they expect these people to rise up and spend it? And the letter is addressed to my late mother-in-law as Ida _______, Deceased... so it's not like it's a surprise...

Saw the new Will Smith movie "Hancock" last night. It was ok... some pretty funny lines and scenes... but the ending was a disappointment. Go ahead and see it if you're a Will Smith scene... but know going in it is not "I, Robot" or "Independence Day". Dang.

Despite my reservations about the effect on military retention, I am delighted that they passed (and the President signed) the new GI Bill... Many post 9/11 veterans and servicemembers will soon see a new package of education benefits. What's so soon about August 2009???

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